Debenhams has announced plans to close 50 stores, putting over 3500 jobs at risk, the high-street department store has said the closures will be spread over a 5-year period however, they have not released the list of stores set to close.
As it stands, Debenhams has 166 branches across the UK, with the business previously confirming plans to close 10 stores however they amended this and added an additional 40 stores to the list. After losing over £400 million this year compared to a £59 million profit the year before.
Closing over 30% of their stores within the UK in a bid to turn around the business seems like last resort. This decision clearly was not easy for the company to make.
Boss Sergio Bucher said the company was ‘taking tough decisions’ on stores which were currently contributing positively to the business but where financial performance was likely to ‘deteriorate over time.’
It was reported that the company was working with a large restructuring firm which reportedly would have seen the retailer entering a Company Voluntary Arrangement to shed sites and gain some rent reductions. Although, CEO Ron Marshall spoke about the rumours and explained that they have no intent for a CVA.
The news comes after rumours that other high street chains are failing including companies like Toy’s R Us. The rise of the internet has clearly been too much for some high street businesses to deal with, the companies who have not evolved and prepared for the internets superiority are beginning to fail. If your company is yet fully invest in the internet then our Ecommerce Web Design Service for Retail could be the perfect solution for your business. Alternatively if you feel like your online business is under-performing then take up one of our Free Ecommerce SEO Audits and see what can be done to get your online business where it needs to be.